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n. pl. trip·o·lis
A porous, lightweight, siliceous sedimentary rock composed of the shells of diatoms or radiolarians or of finely weathered chert, used as an abrasive and a polish.

[French, probably after TripoliLebanon.]


1. A historical region of northern Africa roughly coextensive with the ancient region of Tripolitania. It became part of the Barbary States in the 16th century and later passed to Turkey and Italy.
2. A city of northwest Lebanon on the Mediterranean Sea north-northeast of Beirut. Probably founded after the seventh century bc, it was capital of a Phoenician federation and later flourished under the Seleucid and Roman empires. Tripoli was captured by the Arabs in ad 638 and taken by the Crusaders in 1109 after a long siege.
3. The capital and largest city of Libya, in the northwest part of the country on the Mediterranean Sea. Settled by Phoenicians from Tyre, it has Roman and Byzantine remains.

Tri·pol′i·tan (trĭ-pŏl′ĭ-tn) adj. & n.
References in classic literature ?
He was a man of courage and firmness, who had distinguished himself in our Tripolitan war, and, from being accustomed to naval discipline, was considered by Mr.
Navy launched a series of maneuvers against Tripoli, including an effort to obliterate a large portion of the Tripolitan force in one fell swoop by turning a captured ship into a "floating volcano" and sailing it into the enemy fleet.
In Love and War on the Rooftop -- a Tripolitan Tale" is a real-life comedy play that talks about the daily lives of the actors aged 16 to 29 years old, from the two rival neighborhoods.
Cathcart reserved his most lethal venom for the Tripolitan Jew Leon Farfara, who, "like Jerry Sneak," offered to act as an intermediary and requested $1,000 for his services after Cathcart had already delivered America's consular presents and initiated contact with the ruling bashaw.
While she'd been sleeping, another Tripolitan, Omar, had met up with friends and other locals in the predominantly Sunni city's main square.
The Tripolitan War of 1801-05 shows that the United States has been negotiating with piratical or terrorist states for more than two centuries and that ex-prisoners of war often face tough questions about the events that led to their captivity.
shipping against Tripoli, including permitting them to take offensive action against Tripolitan vessels.
Included in this exhibition is a 7-foot-long gold Miquelet-lock musket given to President Thomas Jefferson in 1805 by the Bey of Tunisia after the Tripolitan Wars.
ambassadors Thomas Jefferson and John Adams met with Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja, the Tripolitan ambassador, in London to negotiate peace and stop the Barbary terror, seizure and enslavement of U.
Published four years before the beginning of the US's first foreign military campaign in the Tripolitan War (1801-1805), The Algerine Captive draws on the long history of the captivity narrative in colonial America and England.
Congress later passed a statute that, while not called a "declaration of war," authorized the President to seize all Tripolitan vessels and goods thereon "and also to cause to be done all such other acts of precaution or hostility as the state of war will justify.
In 1800, William Bainbridge begrudgingly negotiated tribute payments with the dey [rulers] in Algiers, and later commanded the vessel USS Philadelphia which he surrendered to Tripolitan pirates upon running the ship aground.